What’s up with my brother?

By Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Q: I HAVE A BROTHER THAT I AM CONVINCED HAS SOME KIND OF SEXUAL DISORDER AND ANY ADVICE WILL BE MOST APPRECIATED. WHEN I WAS ABOUT 7 OR 8 I CAUGHT MY BROTHER WHO IS A LITTLE OLDER THAN I, WATCHING ME BATH FROM A CRACK ALONG THE BOTTOM OF THE DOOR. TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, THIS CONTINUED UNTIL I MOVED OUT OF MY HOME AND GOT MARRIED. I WAS CONSTANTLY HAVING TO COMFRONT HIM ALL THOSE YEARS WITH THIS ISSUE. BUT IT GETS WORSE. I CAUGHT HIM SEVERAL TIMES DIGGING THOUGH MY PANTY DRAWER AND EVEN CAUGHT HIM WEARING A PAIR OF MY SISTER’S AT ONE TIME. HE ALSO HAS WENT TO THE POINT AS TO CLIMB INTO THE ATTIC AND LOOK
DOWN FROM THE VENT TO SEE ME IN THE SHOWER AND HE USED TO DRILL TINY PEEPHOLES IN MY WALL. YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT WAS LIKE FOR ME GROWING UP IN THE SAME HOUSE AS HE! WE ARE NOW GROWN ADULTS AND HE IS MARRIED. HIS WIFE CAME TO ME CRYING ONE DAY AND TOLD ME SHE CAUGHT HIM MASTURBATING THROUGH A PEEP HOLE HE MADE IN THEIR HOME TO ONE OF HER SISTERS. THREE YEARS LATER IT IS THE PRESENT DAY AND HE AND HIS WIFE ARE GOING THROUGHT A DIVORCE. I ALLOWED HIM TO STAY IN MY GUEST ROOM FOR THE NIGHT AND I WOKE THE NEXT MORNING TO FIND THAT HE HAD STOLEN SOME OF MY PANTIES I HAD IN MY SPARE BATHROOM AND I SAW WHERE HE GOT ON MY COMPUTER AND WAS LOOKING AT THE MOST REVOLTING SITES. SITES THAT HAD TO DO WITH FORCED SEX AND ABNORMAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY. TRUST ME, THIS WAS NOT JUST NAKED WOMEN. MY MOTHER RECENTLY INFORMED ME THAT WHEN MY BROTHER WAS ABOUT 6 , HE WAS CAUGHT GOING TROUGH MY GRANDMOTHERS PANTIES. EVERY THING THAT I HAVE SPOKE OF DOES NOT EVEN SCRATCH THE SKIN. I KNOW HE HAS A SERIOUS PROBLEM AND I AM WORRIED. HE SCREWED UP MY CHILDHOOD BUT HE WILL NOT SCREW UP THE REST OF MY LIFE. TALKING DOES NOT HELP HIM, AND HE IS GETTING WORSE. WHAT TO DO?

A: Your brother has a serious problem that he needs to deal with. If some of the behaviors you mentioned remained in childhood it could have been a typical teenage curiosity about sexuality. Many boys try to sneak a peak at their sisters or their sister’s friends when they are curious. It doesn’t make it right and you are justified in feeling violated. However, you have stated that he is still doing this kind of thing as an adult and that he is viewing disturbing pornographic material on the Internet. I believe you were kind to take him in knowing what he had done even within his marriage. The trouble is that you can’t usually make someone get help unless they want it. I would suggest that you do an intervention with him just as if he was abusing drugs or alcohol. Gather several people together who still care about him and lay it on the line: “you get help or we will no longer help you or associate with you until you do.” Find the names of therapists in your area who specialize in sexual addictions and give him the names when you confront him. Make sure he makes an appointment and keeps it or his loved ones will cut him off. He will most likely minimize and deny the issues so be prepared for that. Confronting him without applying consequences will allow him to continue his behavior unchecked. Good luck and be strong.

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Dec 2006

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2006). What’s up with my brother?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/12/03/whats-up-with-my-brother/